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 NAFDAC approves AstraZeneca vaccine for Nigeria

NAFDAC approves AstraZeneca vaccine for Nigeria

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has approved the use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in Nigeria, following the World Health Organisation (WHO) emergency use authorisation of the vaccines.

Mojisola Adeyeye, director-general, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) received the vaccine data a week earlier, after which safety and efficacy evaluation for Nigerians was studied.

With this development, Nigeria can now join the vaccination race against COVID-19, like South African, Morocco and Zimbabwe peers.

According to the DG, there are three additional vaccines undergoing evaluation, but the evaluation on Astrazeneca shows that the vaccine is effective against the UK variant of the virus which has been reported in Nigeria.

Adeyeye disclosed that the South African variant has not been reported in Nigeria, adding that the agency has over 30 herbal medicine undergoing review for listing.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, also known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, or AZD1222, is a viral vector vaccine.

The WHO gave the green light for the vaccines on Monday, February 15, 2021, ending a wait to have them rolled out globally through COVAX, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The AstraZeneca/Oxford product, a viral vectored vaccine called ChAdOx1-S, has been found to have 63.09percent efficacy and is suitable for low- and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements.

Of the 88 million AstraZeneca doses allocated to Africa for the first phase, Nigeria will receive 16 million doses, the largest allocation.

The vaccines are expected to start arriving before the end of February, according to WHO and Nigerian officials.

As of Wednesday, Nigeria had recorded 148,500 cases of the viral infection including 1779 deaths.

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